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8 Weird and Wonderful Historical Facts No One Ever Told Us About!

6) There Are Clams That Make Silk

The endangered noble pen shell clam of the Mediterranean Sea create keratin fibers when their saliva comes into contact with the salt water. In a pain-staking process, the women of Sant’Antioco, Sardinia, dive deep to harvest the fibers, then weave and embroider them into a silk once fit only for kings.

The sea silk is known as byssus and is 3 times finer than human hair. The art of processing and weaving sea silk is dying out as it has to be passed down from relative to relative and the women vow to take now money for their works, which can takes years to complete.

Strange History and Science Facts We Never Knew

18th century stocking made from sea silk. Via/ Wiki Commons

5) Astronauts Had to Go Through Customs

When returning from the moon the astronauts had to go through customs in Hawaii. There is some dispute about whether the paperwork was done as a formality since the astronauts returning from the Apollo 11 mission were kept in quarantine upon their return just in case of moon germs.

The astronauts likely did not go through customs in their containment suits and their signatures were reportedly added to the form after they were out of quarantine.

4) State Funeral for a Body Part

Mexican general Antonio López de Santa Anna was shot int he leg during a battle with the French and his leg was amputated. Santa Anna held a state funeral for his amputated leg in 1842, granting his leg full military honors. He used the publicity to later win election as president and even would remove his prosthetic leg during parades to remind the public of his sacrifice. Santa Anna’s prosthetic leg was stolen by American troops in 1847.

Strange History and Science Facts We Never Knew

Via/ Flickr

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